Reporter's Toolbox

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Reporter’s Toolbox

Connect with your fellow education reporters and workshop your story ideas.

Connect with your fellow education reporters and workshop your story ideas.

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State of the Education Beat 2021

Survey of Education Journalists Sheds Light on Impact, Obstacles

Who are today’s journalists on the education beat? What obstacles do they face as they seek to inform the public? Where do they turn for information? What do they believe needs to change about their own profession?

EWA partnered with the EdWeek Research Center once again to answer these and other questions in State of the Education Beat 2021. The new report is based on a national survey of more than 400 education journalists – plus follow-up interviews with a smaller group of education reporters and editors.

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EWA Reporter Guides

Reporter Guides are how-to documents on best practices for education journalists.

Story Labs are blueprints for tackling complex topics: Essential background, research to consider, questions to ask, sources to tap, and story ideas to steal.

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Tip Sheets

The Education Writers Association offers tip sheets with story ideas, reporting, advice and lists of resources on a variety of education topics and journalistic skills.

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Help Is at Hand, When You Need It

You’re on deadline, and you want to know if the new report that plopped on your desk comes from an organization with an agenda. You have a simple question you want answered fast, or a complex project you want to talk through. You’re new to the beat and having trouble getting officials, or middle schoolers, to talk to you. Or you’ve been on the beat forever and are dying for a new take on the snow-day story, the budget-rollout story, or the perennial story about college-admissions angst.

Whatever your needs, the public editor will be there to help.

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Multimedia

A variety of interviews, keynotes and panel discussions with journalists, experts and newsmakers.

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Don’t let the sticker price fool you

Don’t let the sticker price fool you.

The updated 2018 version of the web tool shows what students really pay for college, based on their family income.

Search for the cost trends and real prices of more than 3,800 colleges and universities in the United States. And check out quality indicators like graduation rates and diversity.

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New to the Beat?

If you’re new to journalism, or if you’re a veteran reporter covering education for the first time, here are a few quick resources to get you up to speed.

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Reporting Fellowships

Through a competitive application process, the Education Writers Association’s fellowships provide financial awards to journalists to undertake ambitious reporting and writing projects. EWA offers several opportunities throughout the year to apply; typically in the fall and spring, although additional rounds may also be offered. To learn more, check out the FAQ page for our most recent round of the program. 

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2022 New to the Beat Program

Do you have fewer than two years’ experience covering education? Need extra support and guidance from a veteran of the education beat (and from EWA)? 

Apply to join New to the Beat. Now in its sixth year, this popular EWA program offers a unique opportunity to sharpen your skills, connect with peers, and develop your knowledge of the essentials of K-12 and higher education.

Each participant is paired with a skilled mentor who brings extensive experience covering education. The program kicks off with a two-day workshop on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (EWA offers travel scholarships to cover the cost of airfare and hotel.) 

Rookies will also be expected to participate in EWA’s 75th National Seminar, to be held in July 2022 in Orlando, Florida.  

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Attendance at the in-person training is required.

The January event will cover beat basics like making the most of open records and how to find and use education research, plus provide a crash course in navigating education policy and politics. Participants will also learn how to use key federal databases, and how to take their writing and interviewing skills to the next level.

The mentorship program lasts six months. You will be required to produce a substantive piece of reporting that reflects your participation in the program, and we need your editor to approve your participation. Both K-12 and higher education reporters are encouraged to apply. (Do you cover preschool or a combination of education beats? We’d love to hear from you.)

In addition to the mentorship and additional support from EWA’s public editor, participants will benefit from specialized programming, webinars, and resources geared to their needs.

Questions? Start with the FAQ, which will also direct you to the online application portal.  

If you have additional questions, email EWA Public Editor Emily Richmond